Return to Headlines

Durham teacher, employee salaries to increase

Despite an impasse in state government that has effectively frozen base salaries for teachers and most school district employees, Durham Public Schools is using local funding to increase compensation—part of our Strategic Plan to recruit and retain outstanding employees to serve our students and community.

“Our school board requested, and our county commissioners funded, $3 million to increase salary supplements for our teachers, certified staff, and assistant principals,” said DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga. “We waited as long as we could for the state to pass an education budget, but we can’t any longer. It’s time to follow through.”

In North Carolina, the state pays a base salary for teachers that increases with years of service. Local school districts offer additional, supplemental pay that makes them more competitive in recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. This year’s supplement will increase by an average of $600 per year, retroactive to July 1, 2019. Beginning teacher supplements will rise from $4900 to $5425.

In addition, Durham Public Schools is beginning to implement the results of a thorough review of compensation for non-instructional “classified” and Central Services employees, including bus drivers, secretaries, instructional assistants, and administrators. Each classified employee will receive at least a one-percent salary increase starting with the December paycheck; the average increase will be 4.4 percent. However, because the majority of the positions are state-funded, DPS will not be able to make these salary adjustments retroactive to July 1 until the state budget impasse is resolved.

“These are important steps forward,” said Dr. Mubenga. “Our teacher supplements are among the highest in North Carolina, and we are providing better compensation to our classified staff as well. But we need our state government to pass a budget so that we can finish the job for our classified staff and so that all of our employees may receive what they have earned.

“We also need to adopt a $15-an-hour minimum living wage for our employees, as our City and County have done, and increase our competitive edge by offering the highest supplement in North Carolina. We look forward to working with our partners in Durham County Government to achieve these priorities.”